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MTN Nigeria Unveils Customer Engagement Platform

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MTN Nigeria has unveiled a new unified customer engagement platform, EnGauge, designed to enable small-to-medium enterprise business owners seamlessly administer transactions with customers, potentially increasing their productivity significantly.

Developed in partnership with Ajua, an African start-up, MTN EnGauge is an agile application that offers innovative customer management solutions, including digital payments using a unique Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) code; Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools; customer feedback channels; debt management and tracking; business and product promotions through mobile and social media channels.

The solution is downloadable on the Google Play store and only available on the MTN network for now, with a monthly subscription of N500 and a yearly subscription of N5,500. Following installation and registration, businesses are automatically provided with a unique USSD code that allows their customers to interact, transact and communicate with them in real-time.

With MTN Engauge, entrepreneurs can securely receive payment, track transactions with each of their customers and glean valuable insights to serve them better based on their preferences and buying behaviour.

Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, said: “MTN EnGauge is the ideal platform for business owners and entrepreneurs to thrive in the ‘new normal.’ Entrepreneurs have had to re-organise their core business models through backward and forward integration to maintain relevance. The EnGauge mobile application helps make this possible and seamless.”

To showcase the platform, MTN held a live demonstration session via Zoom, where business owners were presented with the benefits of adopting the solution.

The Founder and CEO of Ajua, Kenfield Griffith, said: “The fundamental engine of business growth is customers.

By design, MTN EnGauge solves most of the challenges SMEs experience, from digitally engaging their customers to cash management.”

“With MTN as a partner and their reach across the continent, we believe MTN EnGauge will have a positive and impactful trajectory, driving transformational business growth for SMEs,” Griffith added.

MTN EnGauge was launched to the Y’ello 200 in February, beneficiaries of MTN’s Revv Programme, thus fulfilling MTN’s promise that the SMEs will be first to enjoy solutions from her stable.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Telecommunications

Call, Data Rate to Jump 100% as FG Imposes 5% Excise Duty on Telecoms

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services

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Services Tax

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services, a source from the sector stated.

According to industry experts, the increment will not only impact subscribers but also increase tax burden on telcos which would translate into rise in tariffs.

This, experts explained would increase the total consumption tax on the sector from just the 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) to 12.5%, a situation they said would worsen Nigerians’ economic status given the ongoing happenings in the country.

If implemented, Nigerians are now expected to be paying as much as N40 a minute, up from N20 and could be paying up to N2,500 per gigabyte.

Last week, Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, decried the new tax, threatening to take the Federal Government to court for overburden the industry with so much taxes at a time when the telecommunication sector and the entire Nigerian economy was not faring well.

He said: “The 5 percent excise duty will overburden the industry. As a Minister, I was neither consulted nor obtained a memo to that effect. Even the appropriate lawmakers that were supposed to be talked with have also told me they were not.

”Things are not done that way. Besides condemning the tax, we will take every lawful step to guarantee that the tax does not stand.”

However, Ahmed Zainab, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, had different excuse for going ahead with the new 5% excise duty. According to her, the new 5% excise duty was in line with 2020 Finance Act and was part of Federal Government efforts at augmenting the nation’s revenue, especially from the non-oil sector.

The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers and the Nigerian Telecommunication Consumer have joined Pantami and other Nigerians to kick against the decision they considered wicked and inconsiderate.

Chief Adeolu Ogunbajo, president National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) also added his voice. He said the sector is barely holding its ground with the existing 7.5 percent VAT, additional 5 percent will sum the total VAT in the sector to 12.5 percent. This is a killer move on the sector, he said.

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Telecommunications

Communication Minister Kicks Against FG’s Proposal to Impose 5% Tax on Calls, Text, Data

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has kicked against the Federal Government’s plans to impose a 5% excise duty on telecommunications services in the country.

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Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has kicked against the Federal Government’s plans to impose a 5% excise duty on telecommunications services in the country.

The minister, who spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications indigenous Content Expo, NTICE, in Lagos, said the sector, which was already drawing in massive interest, creating jobs, and enlarging huge revenue to the GDP, should not be inconvenienced with such taxes.

He said: “The 5 percent excise duty will overburden the industry. As a Minister, I was neither consulted nor obtained a memo to that effect. Even the appropriate lawmakers that were supposed to be talked with have also told me they were not.

”Things are not done that way. Besides condemning the tax, we will take every lawful step to guarantee that the tax does not stand.”

The minister also argued about the large percentage of importation of ICT and telecoms equipment into the country, even when some of these equipment could be acquired in the country.

He gave a marching order to all stakeholders that henceforth, the Federal Government will not condone importation of anything into the country when it can be manufactured here in the country.

“The sector has to reasonably reduce importation. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, and the National Office for the Promotion of Indigenous Content, NODIT, should carry out this policy.

“By 2025, we’ll be qualified to increase our indigenous content and decrease importation by about 20 percent.”

The Minister’s attack on the excise duty is coming after major stakeholders in the sector, including the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, and National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, NATCOMS, also kicked against the motion, interpreting it as anti-people, provocative, unusual, cold and unreliable.

At a stakeholders’ forum organized in Abuja by the NCC to shed light on its proposed commission, they also complained that such imposition would help aggravate the misery of the Nigerian masses who already had been pushed into suffering and severe poverty.

The new five percent Excise Duty is part of the new finance act signed into law by the President in 2020. It is meant to be received by the Nigerian Customs Service, and President Buhari gave a ruling that it should be carried out on all telecoms service providers in the country, also on all local and foreign goods and services.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had also at that event, persuaded stakeholders to assist the commission, saying the decision was informed by the dwindling revenue of the federal government from oil and gas.

She said other countries in Africa, involving Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania, among others, have all keyed into the revenue generation structure.

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Telecommunications

MTN Nigeria Reports 4.2 Million PSB Customers in Two Months

MTN Nigeria has announced that a total of 4.2 million customers have subscribed for the services of its subsidiary, Mobile Money (MoMo).

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MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, a leading telecommunications company in Nigeria, has announced that a total of 4.2 million customers have subscribed for the services of its subsidiary, Mobile Money (MoMo) business that was licensed under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Payment Service Bank (PSB) program in May 2022.

The telecom giant disclosed this in its unaudited report obtained by Investors King.

According to the report, only 2.4 million of the 4.2 million subscribers are presently active on MoMo Payment Service Bank. However, despite the large percentage of inactive customers, the telecoms company said it processed 7 million in transaction volume since it was launched on 16th of May 2022.

The CBN introduced the PSB license to increase financial inclusion and reduce the number of unbanked adults in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria.

This, the apex bank said would help increase the number of people in the tax net, and subsequently boost tax revenue.

While the CBN is looking to use PSB license to deepen the nation’s financial system, MTN Nigeria, Airtel Africa and other licensed companies are looking to expand their revenue generation via PSB business.

Speaking on the significance of the PSB license to MTN Nigeria’s long-term strategy, Karl Toriola, MTN Nigeria CEO, said “This is an important milestone for MTN Nigeria in our mission to support the delivery of financial services to everyone in Nigeria. Not just those in urban centers and markets, but also people in the rural and remote areas of the country who remain excluded from the financial system.”

He added “We are grateful to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their support and guidance through the
process.”

Airtel Africa and MTN Nigeria are now expected to go head to head by leveraging on their broad network to seize a substantial market share of the new PSB space.

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